The form of authorization for foreigners shall be agreed upon by the parties, unless otherwise provided for by the Law, the authorization must be made in writing.

Currently, legal documents on authorization do not have specific provisions on authorization for foreigners.

1. The authorization for foreigners is governed by the Civil Code through the provision of authorization

  • Each natural or juridical person may authorize another natural or juridical person to enter and perform a civil transaction.
  • Members of a household, cooperative group or a non-juridical person may agree to authorize another natural or juridical person to enter and perform a civil transaction related to their common property.
  • A person aged between 15–17 years may be an authorized representative, except where the Law provides that the civil transaction must be entered into and performed by a person who has reached eighteen years of age.

Thus, with the recognition of the above regulation, the subjects who are authorized representatives will include both Vietnamese and foreigners.

2. The rights and obligations of the authorized person

Although not directly referring to the rights and obligations of the authorized person being a foreigner in each specific case, the authorization for foreigners is still governed by Civil Law and the same applies to a number of legal documents related to activities within the scope of authorization such as: scope and form of authorization; consequences of transactions performed beyond the scope of authorization; termination of authorization.

3. The authorized foreigner

When establishing an authorization, the authorized foreigner has the right to establish and perform all civil transactions within the scope of an authorization. However, they may not enter and perform civil transactions with themselves or with a third person of whom they are also the representative, unless otherwise provided for by Law.

Similar to the authorization for a Vietnamese person, a foreigner authorized person terminates the work when the authorization period has expired or the authorized work has been completed; the principal cancels the authorization, or the authorized person refuses the authorization; the principal or the authorized person has been declared by a court to have lost his/her civil act capacity, been declared to have restricted civil act capacity, declared missing or declared dead.

In addition, based on Article 134 of the Civil Code (2015), the authorized person must have civil legal capacity and civil act capacity suitable to civil transactions established and performed. According to Article 673 of the Civil Code, unless Law states otherwise, foreigners in Vietnam have the same civil legal capacity as Vietnamese citizens. Thus, the foreigner must also ensure appropriate civil legal capacity and civil act capacity to act as an authorized person.

However, Vietnamese Law provides limits, ordering that foreigners are not allowed to perform several activities, even though they are within the scope of authorization, such as: buying houses (except for apartments in the project of developing commercial housing and not in an area where foreigners are restricted or prohibited from residing or traveling) or receiving the transfer of residential land use rights.

Therefore, when performing the authorization for foreigners, in addition to considering the civil act capacity, it is also necessary to determine the nature of the transaction to avoid the authorization from being contrary to the legal provisions, which could invalidate transaction.

The article is based on laws applicable at the time noted as above and may no longer be appropriate at the time the reader approaches this article as the applicable laws and the specific cases that the reader may wish to apply may have changed. Therefore, the article is for referencing only.


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